It’s another new day, another blank page to be filled as I please. But I am hampered by emotions, memories and habits of the past. They are a burden and not easily cleared. Though I want to let go and move on, I’m a bit stuck on my old treadmill. I’m on a hunt for tools to help me.
The first one that I thought of is choosing a word for the year. It was introduced to me by Susanna Conway in her Unravel Your Year workbook. It hasn’t worked well for me in the past because I don’t do anything past choosing a word. It is a bad habit of mine. I don’t do the work after making the decision. Another bad habit is when I come to a difficult part, I am unable or not willing to push pass it and I stay stuck. Changes and learning new ways of doing and being are hard. I am now trying to rectify it. My word(s) for 2023 are simplify and good housekeeping.
Nothing stays the same, no matter how much we like them to or how hard we hang onto them. And I do the both of them, tooth and nail. What happens then is my head is overflowing with stuff as well as my desk, computers, cupboards, closets and whatever that can hold stuff. I haven’t been up to par with cleaning and maintenance. My head and computer are somewhat broken. My iMac is still updating from yesterday. I hope it works after everything is done. As for my head, I hope it clears as I clear my outer space.
I have to keep things small and simple in order to succeed. My iMac has finally finished updating. It did not correct the missing info icon on my WordPress Add New page. But it did knocked out my Pages, Numbers and Keynote. They are no longer compatible with my operating system as are their new versions on the App Store. Drat! Now I am afraid to update my MacBook in case it does the same. That’s for another day.
Meanwhile, I have done a little housekeeping. I found and deposited the 3 government cheques I have received over the last few months before they’ve expired. The fresh air and walk to the bank was good except for the time of day. It was after school and work time so there was heavy foot and car traffic. Teenagers like to walk together abreast, taking up the whole sidewalk. They do not have consideration to break apart to make room for me coming from the opposite direction. I like to give them a kick but I do not.
Enough complaining. To keep things simple, I shall end here. I’m happy to discover that my Pages, Numbers and Keynote still work in the Cloud. The miracles of technology.
Another December morning. It is as dark as can be at 7:42. We are heading head long towards the darkest day of the year. 11 more days and we will come out on the other side. It is my best fall and December wherein I am not blaming the season for my moody blues. I have talked about how my feelings can turn on a dime. It is still true but now I can turn it around just as quickly. I have a self control button as well as auto pilot. I should have check my operation manual sooner. It is nice to know I have a choice of how I want to feel and be.
Mornings are my best time for everything. I always look forward to waking up and starting the day. It’s when I am fresh with a clean slate. No hangovers of toxic emotions and attitudes to weigh me down. I guess that’s why they advocate not watching the news or argue before bedtime. It’s been a long, long time since I’ve gone to bed upset. I am doing something right. Too bad one can’t keep the lid on 24/7. But life and humans are not perfect. I don’t think we can learn and advance if there are no bleeps along the way. I am grateful for each and everyone of them for what they have taught me.
I don’t like to admit it. I do tend to look at things in black and white, right and wrong, yes and no. I didn’t realized it until yesterday. How dumb can I be? I was stuck in a certain mindset. It was only by accident that I skidded out of the track. It was that light bulb moment that I could see there was a middle way. There’s much truth in age old sayings like: There’s more than one way of skinning a cat. All roads lead to Rome. More than one way to cook an egg. I was really surprised by my awakening. I didn’t know I had a hard set mind. I was not as opened minded as I had thought. Life would have been much easier had I known sooner. It is what it is. I wasn’t ready. I am happy to learn that there is grey, somethings are neither right or wrong and that there is a maybe of different strengths.
I’m sitting here with my second cup of tea. I’m staring at my paper pile, readying, steeling myself to delve into them. My resolve not to let everything get into a clutter AGAIN had melted and I’m fallen into the same rabbit hole again. Having resolves, choosing a word for the year, making lists, self help books – all these tools have not work for me. So I ask myself: why keep using them? Clearly it’s an indication for change. And here’s that word again – CHANGE. How many times have I written about change? Have I changed? Clearly not! I’m in a pickle.
I shouldn’t beat myself up so. I HAVE made little bits of change here and there. I like to think that I’ve stopped working on relationships that doesn’t work. I’ve stopped blaming myself that it’s all my fault, that I’m not kind enough, generous enough, blah, blah, blah. Sometimes it is good to reread your journals, even though you’re not suppose to. They advise you not to look/read back, to burn them. I could’t quite do them all in and have read back. I’m ashamed to admit that I’ve whined and whined about the same things/people/situations for decades. I think that’s call being stuck.
I’m slowly learning – not to blame myself. I’m thinking of watching a bee stuck in a spider’s web the other day. It struggled and struggled and finally broke free and flew off. So it’s taking me a little longer to break free. It’s better later than never. Some people are stuck forever in the webs they wove around themselves. I’m grateful that I can test out my new wings even just a little bit. Freedom is not just another word for nothing left to lose.
Freedom is ridding my piles of paper clutter, dust and outdated and expired thoughts, feelings and what-have-yous. It will take some doing but if I have courage and tenacity, I can chip away at them one day at a time. After all, they were accumulated over years and decades. I was hoping against hope that I could hit the DELETE button and they would be gone. Nothing is ever that easy even though we can send men into space and we can FaceTime with someone on the other side of the globe.
I’ve been working on this post for awhile, over a week. I’m in a bit of a dither this morning. I’m sure we had frost overnight. Even though I was organized in taking all the tomatoes off the vine and covering all my tenders, I see that the cover had blown off my precious Sunburst squash. It has many little squashes still trying to grow up. Oh, well, I can’t save everything. And though it is still early morning, the phone lines to everywhere are experiencing higher than normal volume of calls. One has to dial 911 nowadays to get a real person. I must calm down and not to get my panties in a knot. So I had to leave a message with a message for them to leave a message if I can’t come to the phone when they call. And I will call back with a message to confirm.
I’m feeling super cranky. I will go outside and to the greenhouse to get a dose of natural serotonin. The sun is out and I mustn’t stay grumpy. The clock is ticking.
It is the 11th day of August and the Ultimate Blog Challenge. I’ve missed a day again. Time is elusive, hard to grasp. It’s like holding onto water. It slips slides away faster, the harder you try to hold onto it. Before it does today, I’m sitting down, my fingers are on the keyboard, to have this conversation. I’ve come back from grocery shopping with my parents. I’ve unloaded and carried theirs into their house. Mine are sitting on the kitchen floor. No perishables. They will be alright.
Sometimes you just have to drop everything just to have some time/things for yourself. You can run yourself ragged if you don’t. I have that habit of doing, of being productive, of doing/giving for others, trying not to being selfish. Sometimes I end up feeling neglected, resentful with mean thoughts. It’s no one’s fault except mine own. I recognize my flaw, my incorrect thinking. Now I try not to fall into that hole as much. Now I try not to share all of me and what I have. It is nice to keep some thoughts/things just for myself.
It was difficult not to give this bitter melon to my mother but I fought the urge. I told myself I had given her one already and there are 2 more little ones growing on the vine. And she has been complaining she got too much fresh vegetables. Everyone is giving her so much. So I kept this pretty one and cooked it just for myself. It was quite delicious, not that bitter at all. Pretty good for my first adventure growing and cooking a bitter melon. I hope I will get a few more than 2 though it is getting late in the season.
I know I inherited/learned this trait from my mother. She’s always giving/sharing all of her stuff. It’s hard to refuse. I’m trying to learn to be gracious about it. After all, they’re gifts and she is almost 90. It probably makes her feel good she can still give. Like mother and daughter, we find it hard to take. She is learning, too, to take as well as give.
It’s a bit strange to wake up to +8℃ temperature after all the cool nights and mornings. I’ll take it though. It is the last day in April. I’ve signed up for the May Ultimate Blog Challenge. We (try)write a post a day and share it on the Page. I’m all for connecting and sharing and learning from each other. Lately, I’m finding that we have lost the art and gift of conversation. I am speaking for myself only. I feel that I am in the land of the one hand clapping. Do you know what I mean?
What I mean is that though we are living in this era of social media and technology, I find it harder and harder to be social, communicate and connect. I clap but no one hears. There is no answering echo. Everyone is waiting for everyone else to respond. Maybe it is that I live in my head too much, thinking too much and seeing erroneously. I hope that is the case. I can correct my wandering thoughts and incorrectness. I can send an answering clap.
It is always good to have something to work on. I am not a know-it-all. I am never too old to learn something new. I’m learning that and the true meaning of don’t sweat the small stuff from gardening. This year was the first time I’m germinating seeds between wet paper towel and putting them in the oven with just the light on. This works really well, especially for all kinds of squashes – in 2 to 3 days. Then there were those not so fresh seeds that didn’t work. I give up after a week of damp towelling in a baggy and in the oven. I do take them out of the oven but as usual I leave them laying around. So days, maybe weeks later, when I finally got around to disposing of them, I found that they had germinated!
It was a great learning experience. First, it taught me to be patient. All good things will come in time. Second, it taught me not to sweat the small stuff. It’s all small stuff. Third, I will start my seedlings by germinating seeds this way from now on. It is not even necessary to put them in the oven. I think it will save me space and time. When things don’t work out one way, it opens up new avenues. Walking away from things that won’t work is not giving up. It’s being wise. It saves time in not trying to put a square peg in a round hole. It will mean less head banging and frustrations and more fulfillment. Learning new ways is not easy or fast. I will dedicate the month of the May Ultimate Blog Challenge to that theme.
March 17th, Wednesday morning. It’s almost 9 am. The sun is weak like tepid tea. I am, too. No get up and go. I sit, sip and tap. There’s no need to rush off to anything. I used to like to sew my quilt blocks in the early morning. It was still in the winter dark. I would turn on my feel good bright lamp, the radio and the fireplace. It was cosy and comforting, stitching up, cutting and ironing. All the while I’m listening to what is happening in Saskatchewan.
Now that the sun is rising earlier I rather sit and bask in its bright or not so bright light. I’ve had my fill of listening to the radio, especially the news. It’s all about the Covid, the vaccines and side effects. Have you noticed that all conversations are about that? It is all so very heavy and fatiguing. And yet we can’t seem to talk about anything else. Our National news is the same. The whole hour mostly focused on that, night after night for a whole year now. Oh, Donald Trump and the U. S. election did break through. But what about the rest of the world, the rest of life?
I am getting rather comfortable in my little bubble. I am happy with sewing my quilt squares, starting seedlings and messing and checking up in the greenhouse. I am reluctant to venture out. A trip to Costco was a major deal in my head. I had to take the guy with me. When we got there, it was no big deal. He was handy in pushing the cart and unloading things into the car. I feel I always struggled with bulky and weighty packages. Even visits with my parents feels big and problematic. I would have to do some head and mind clearing first. What a sad sack I am, heh?
My first vaccine shot is about 2 weeks away. I think I will head back to the gym and pool a couple of weeks after that. I miss the challenge of physical activity. It is the best medicine for my physical and mental health. It’s a-get-out-of-the-house prod. Being dour by nature, I have to work very hard to be in a good mental space. It’s a good thing. I have something to do all the time. I could not very well stay in a puddle or down the rabbit hole. I’m a very slow learner. I’m slow at everything but like the tortoise I can win some races.
Here’s my autobiography by Portia Nelson:
Autobiography in Five Short Chapters I. I walk down the street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. I fall in. I am lost. I am helpless. It isn’t my fault. It takes forever to find a way out. II. I walk down the same street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. I still don’t see it. I fall in again. I can’t believe I am in the same place. It isn’t my fault. It still takes a long time to get out. III. I walk down the same street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. I see it there, I still fall in. It’s habit. It’s my fault. I know where I am. I get out immediately. IV. I walk down the same street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. I walk around it. V. I walk down a different street.
I am not organized today. That’s the way it goes – up and down or just treading water. Life is a process, each day unique unto itself. I guess that is why THEY say treasure it – for it will never come again. Sometimes I beg to differ though, like now. We seem to be reliving the same day of the Covid and of the cold. I am not complaining. I am healthy. I am safe. I am at ease. I wear my mask. I social distance. I check the numbers each day – number of deaths, number of new cases.
Each afternoon, we bundle up in our warm clothes and head out to the ski trails in our neighbourhood park. We warm up/cool down walking there. We sweat and get our heart rates up doing our laps around the park. I set my timer on my iPhone so I can monitor my progress. I like to know if I am on the right track and improving. I like to make corrections before I am too far set into bad forms. I am very happy today with my best time of 10:02.42 minutes on my 2nd lap around the park. I could feel that I was improving on my glide. I did not have to work as hard -pushing, huffing and puffing. Skiing is a process. I have to do the time and the distance.
Most of the day is gone. I’m looking at 5:30 in the afternoon. The sun is still out. It is -26℃ outside. It was -37℃ this morning. In the greenhouse, it is still 16.5℃. I can’t believe its high was 26.7 ℃ at 1:49 pm. But then the low was also -26.9℃ at 8:24 am. And just like that the sun has set while I’m tapping and the temperature in the greenhouse has dropped to 4.6℃. Not time to do spring planting yet. Patience, my dear.
So ends another Groundhog day. I’m getting a taste of what Bill Murray in that movie. I’m using too many excuses for the same old, same old. No excuses now. It is that I am just lazy and stuck in my daily routine. I am not lazy generally, just in changing habits. I pat myself on the back after I get back from skiing. I think I’m heroic and have done alot. Therefore I need to treat myself to a cuppa, a snack and Netflix. Before I know it, a couple of hours are gone. And I go: Oh, my God! I’ll do better tomorrow.
It’s another Saturday and I’m coming to the keyboard late again. It is easy to get up and dress up but not so easy showing up. It’s the procrastination and avoidance playing tricks on me. It does not feel like my Saturdays any more. It is a different Saturday but it is still the same day that my Sheba went to dog heaven. She had given me normalcy during the early new Covid-19 period. We had our walks and runs in the dog park. Life seemed almost as usual then.
Now we can’t go on saying business/life as usual. We must change the way we are living. I have given up my Saturday swims again. It’s a wise thing to do given our current Covid-19 situation. Today we have 197 new cases, 1 death. Yesterday 4 deaths, 329 new cases. So it’s time to cuddle up and keep warm at home. When we know that large gatherings lead to an outbreak of new cases, why do we continue to gather? Why do we defy and challenge the wisdom of those who know?
Like Bob Dylan sings, the answer, my friend is blowing in the wind. So let me not dwell on them. I like to believe that crisis gives us an opportunity to change the way we see and live. The documentary film, A Simpler Way: Crisis as an Opportunity (2016) gives me hope for the future. Give it a watch. It is a bit long, over an hour, but well worth it.
Today is a rest day for me. No walks or skiing. I tell myself it is ok. I don’t have to go, go, go like the EverReady Bunny. I went to the library instead to pick up some books for us. It would have been a good day for skiing for we had more snow. But I am a little weary, feeling a strain on my left leg. I was satisfied with my little outing. I found a couple of hopefully good fiction and I got to watch some kids playing on a snow hill outside the library.
I wish that I could come to my keyboard at an earlier time in the day. But then I haven’t lived my day yet, so how can I write about it? So I continue to struggle on. It will make a better woman out of me. I get thrown off by the least little thing. I was going to do dim sim takeout and have it with my parents for lunch today. I even had phoned them last night about it. This morning I remembered that the restaurant is closed on Tuesdays. It was such a good plan. The guy was out of town. It was a good reason to have lunch with my parents. My mother does not give me many opportunities to do something for them. I will try again on Thursday when I will be out and about. I have their grocery list. She will let me do that.
I’m a little miffed to be thrown off by such a little thing. But it does throw a monkey wrench in my brain chemistry. Obviously I am not handling change in plans well. I dither here and there through the morning, not getting much done. I wonder if I’ve been like this all my life or has my brain been changed by technology. I decided not to fight against my nature too much and to proceed as best as I can. I drank more tea and watched a bunch of videos on gardening. They were quite useful. I am learning more about extending the growing season, succession planting, crops to sow in August, etc. Do you know that you can make tea from the avocado pit? The pit is supposed to be full of goodness.
It’s after 6 pm, waiting for supper. The day is gone – just like that! But I did get out and did a 4 block walk. The day has been cloudy and fogging, not adding to my serotonin uptake. It’s been a very slow uphill climb. But I still did all those difficult hard jobs – taking out the garbage, sorted out my box of seeds, matched my receipts to my latest credit card bill. The dishes were very hard today. I closed my eyes but they didn’t go away. I do wonder why things are hard to do. I haven’t discovered the reasons yet. Some days I just have to grin and do them because it’s hard to bear them, too.
I try to be satisfied with being in the moment. I try not to think about accomplishing things. I do try to follow through once I start something. There’s a beginning, a middle and an end to everything. I’m good at beginning but not so at finishing. I’m working at it though. I’m one row of stitches closer to finishing my cross stitch of Jesus. I started it over 10 years ago. It has no expiratory date on it. One row a day will get me there soon, I hope.
I’m having a second cup of tea on this grey misty morning. Trying to get my creative juices and blood flowing. I’m not a very exciting person, not the kind of woman who dances on table tops or jumps out of cakes. Are you? I’m having one of those mornings. My batteries are down to their last dregs. I feel like I’m grinding to a halt. BUT, I’ll just poke along, one step at a time. A journey of a thousand miles starts with the single step. That’s what my ancestors, Confucius and Lao Tzu taught among many other things. This is not a bad time to study their lives. Having lived in times before Christ, their teachings still stand the test of time today.
I made some progress during the morning. I did not just sit and stare. I dared to open up some kitchen drawers. What chaos! I almost closed them up again. It wouldn’t have helped because I knew what a mess they were. I can see them in my mind’s eye. I dug in and pulled everything out. Got out the hand vacuum and sucked up all those the loose tea leaves, sugar and what have yous. Then I sorted as best as I could, putting into appropriate baskets/containers, etc. And voilà! The drawers after the cleanup.
Now I’m waiting for supper. We’re late as usual. We’re busy retired people but I got my walk in. Late afternoon, early evening makes for a nice stroll around the neighbourhood. It is quiet, the world slowing down and the sky closing up for the day. It is a beautiful time of day.
I am not a fan of Halloween and trick and treatings but I do enjoy the effort people put into decorating their yards. We don’t have to do Halloween or any other occasion the same all the time when it’s not appropriate. Change is good. It exercises our brain and soul. Experiment and see what happens. Take the step.